Update of the Avatar #53 – 12/20/13: Release 1 Success, More Spoony, BotA Chapter 3, Duke’s Castle, Knight Home Revisions, Hoe of Prosperity, Town & City Lots!

Greetings Fellow Avatars!

Welcome to this week’s Edition of Update of the Avatar! We have a lot of great information to share about our successful launch of Release 1, plus much more!

  • Release 1 Results
  • Britannia Burns – Part 3, the Spoony Roast
  • Blade of the Avatar Novel: Chapter 3
  • Founder Duke Island Castle
  • Founder Knight Home Renovations
  • Founder’s Tunic
  • Town and City Lots
  • Oracle Statue Home Decoration
  • Hoe of Prosperity
  • The 6-Pack of Prosperity


Release 1 Postmortem!

Starr Long (Executive Producer) shared his perspective on the Release 1 results in a post on the public forums. Here’s an excerpt:

Greetings Avatars,

Release 1 lasted a short four days but it is having a very lasting impression on all of us. For us it was a chance to bring our loyal backers even closer to the product with hands on experience. For you it was a chance to see what you made happen through your generous pledges. At a more fundamental level Release 1 was a test of this new paradigm of crowd funded and crowd sourced development. That paradigm is about a much more transparent and tighter communication loop between the community and the developers. Nowhere is that more true than with an early test like Release 1. Yes of course it was a test of specific systems like patching, login, character customization, housing, and conversations. At a deeper level it was a test to see if we could give you something so very early in development and have you understand what to expect. We worked on that by being as clear as we could on what to expect, and what not to expect. It seemed to have worked as almost everyone who played understood what they were looking at. This understanding allowed all of you to give us really valuable and accurate feedback that we can act on…

Read the rest of Starr’s post on the public forums!

Lord British also shared his perspective on the forums:

Greeting fellow settlers of New Britannia!

For four hundred years, our lands have suffered, since the calamity of the fall. It is wonderful to see inter-world travelers such as yourselves beginning to return to our lands, now called New Britannia! While it is true, that your return was brief, and the status of the world was, shall we say “thin”, it was none the less, a huge milestone, in the rebirth of the restoration of the lands to that which many of us may remember from decades past.

I hope too, that you could see, that the new world, will not just be a nostalgic look back at whence we came, but also a bold step into the future, in many ways. New features such as methods of interacting with the people of our lands will both hearken to the past, yet move into a future that retains the best of the past, while fixing some of the unfortunate transgressions found in other lands you may have visited of late…

Read the rest of Lord British’s post on the public forums!

And here is an excerpt of Chris Spears’ (Technical Director) detailed Release 1 postmortem posted on the forums that included tons of juicy technical information:

While not without its flaws, Release 1 was a huge success as a test run for the game. We had a long list of things we needed to do real world testing on and almost all passed with flying colors. For the casual gamer who doesn’t think much about what goes on behind the scenes, they hopefully patched, logged in, played for a while and said “Yep, looks like a great start!” What most non-game developers don’t know is the massive amount of work that went on behind the scenes to go from zero to that point in 8 months all while growing our team from miniscule to just tiny (for a AAA RPG)…

Read the rest of Chris’ post on the public forums!

We received some awesome Release 1 feedback from the community that we have already started factoring into our project planning! A particularly amusing bug was the ability to create nearly endless stacks of objects. Here is a creative example of that bug posted by d20, entitled “Water’s Wonderland Tower: SotA_Release1_StackingFountains

The Spoony Interview/Roast: Britannia Burns – Part 3!

If you haven’t seen it yet, then you need to check out the third installment of the Spoony interview/roast of Lord British! Enjoy!

Will I pop the question or not?


Blade of the Avatar Novel, Chapter 3

Chapter 3 of the serialized SotA novel, Blade of the Avatar (BotA), written by Tracy Hickman & Richard Garriott, is now available for download! If you are an Early Founder, or you purchased BotA in the Add-On Store, then you will find a download link for the current installment of the novel on your personal SotA account page (log into SotA website and click on “Account” in the top-right corner).  If you are a Kickstarter backer you’ll need to have your Kickstarter account linked to the SotA website (click here for instructions to link your Kickstarter account).

Here is a brief excerpt of Chapter 3 (illustration by Denis Loubet):

Chapter 3: The Blade

Aren rolled over with a groan as much born of anger as of pain. He lay on his back for a moment, the broken stones under him pressing uncomfortably into his back despite the armor. He felt the warm wetness of his own blood on the side of his head. Nevertheless, he held still. He felt disoriented from the unexpected plunge through the weakened floor. The drop felt like an eternity and he had no idea how far he had fallen.

His eyes were adjusting to the darkness. The filtered daylight of the ruins was bright compared to this subterranean night, yet the darkness was not complete. There was some light here and Aren was already beginning to distinguish shapes emerging from the shadows that surrounded him.

Strategy depends on knowledge, he thought. A wise man waits; only a fool rushes into what he doesn’t understand. He lay quietly for a moment, taking in his surroundings.

The faint glow from a series of globes gave scarce illumination to the ancient chamber around him. Each sphere had been mounted in ornamental frameworks on a series of columns which supported the dome of the ceiling. This vague light was further obscured under a layer of rust-colored dust. Still, it was enough; he could soon make out the extents of what had been an oval shaped chamber beneath the ancient ruins. Almost directly above him, part of the dome had buckled downward, breaking through an upper gallery that looked down into the chamber. Debris from the collapse had fallen into a slanting pile. Aren, in turn, had fallen down the face of this debris and come to a halt on its slopes a few feet above the floor.

Download your copy of the latest installment of BotA to read the rest of this exciting chapter!

Founder Duke Island Castle

Our Parade of Homes continues with the Founder Duke Waterfront Island Castle, available as an Early Founder reward in the Duke level pledge. This sprawling, three-story castle, designed by Bob Cooksey and Michael Hutchinson, contains 15 rooms with an expansive roof-deck! SotA_Founder_Duke_Island_Castle_exterior1   SotA_Founder_Duke_Island_Castle_exterior2 Bill Kirkman provided these interior views with sample decorations: SotA_Founder_Duke_Island_Castle_interior1   SotA_Founder_Duke_Island_Castle_interior2   SotA_Founder_Duke_Island_Castle_interior3

Founder Knight Home Renovations

We’ve completed the renovations to the Founder Knight Home! This final pass focused on the exterior and the layout. Changes include:

      • More polished materials on the exterior
      • Grander entrance
      • Second floor balcony above entrance
      • Opened up interior of first floor of the tower (was previously closed off)
      • Overall interior floor space increased
      • Crenellations increased in size

Here are some before and after shots of the exterior…

Exterior: Before SotA_Founder_Knight_exterior1_before Exterior: After SotA_Founder_Knight_exterior1   Roof-Deck: Before SotA_Founder_Knight_exterior2_before Roof-Deck: After SotA_Founder_Knight_exterior2 And here are the first and second floors with some sample decorations by Bill Kirkman. The first floor shows the new tower room holding some wine casks.


The second floor offers a glimpse of the new balcony over the entrance.


Early Founder’s Tunic

This tunic is included as one of the Early Founder rewards in the Founder pledge tier (and above). The Founder Tunic, like the Founder Adventurer Starter Shield, displays the exclusive Founder symbol, an eclipse of the sun by the shattered moon. SotA_Founders_Tunic2

Hoe of Prosperity

SotA_Hoe_Prosperity Next in our “Prosperity” line of unique items is The Hoe of Prosperity!

This unique indestructible hoe increases the quality and quantity of the crops harvested as well as increasing the speed of harvesting. While hoes with similar effects can be crafted and purchased in the game this particular hoe never needs repair.

Get Your Hoe of Prosperity Now and save 33%!

For a limited time we’re offering 33% off the Hoe of Prosperity! Reserve yours (or send as a gift) at the Add-On Store!

The 6-Pack of Prosperity

Get a set of the current items of Prosperity for a discount in our 6-Pack of Prosperity bundle, available now in the Add-On Store! Includes the Fishing Pole, Axe, Pickaxe, Skinning Knife, Sickle, and Hoe. SotA_6-Pack_Prosperity

Town and City Property Deeds

We have added 100 Town Lot Property Deeds and 50 City Lot Property Deeds to the Add-On Store! These lots will be available in towns and cities across New Britannia. The Property Deeds in the Add-On Store will include an appropriate sized starter home (the home shown in these images are placeholder only and are not the actual homes included with the deeds)

Town Lot (30 x 40 meters) SotA_Town_Lot City Lot (40 x 60 meters)  SotA_City_Lot Land is limited in SotA, and the available property deeds are going fast. If you purchase your Property Deed through the Add-On Store, you will have lot placement priority over everyone else that waits until SotA launches before they purchase a property deed.

Property Deeds purchased through the Add-On Store will have an in game currency tax that must be paid monthly or the lot reverts to being for sale and the Lot Deed is returned to the owner. Backers at Citizen level and above receive a tax exempt Lot Deed. All lot deeds are transferable between players. Refer to the FAQ for lot placement priority.

Oracle Statue Head

The influence of the Oracle has waxed and waned over the many years of her existence. Statues of her have been erected and demolished, only to be erected again. The scattered remnants of these statues are prized amongst collectors, especially intact heads, as they can invoke a secret in-game effect. Be one of an exclusive few who own these Oracle Statue Heads that you can proudly display on your in game property. So far explorers have only unearthed 1000 of these, so you better get one before they run out.

Reserve yours (or send as a gift) at the Add-On Store!

(NOTE: You will need a Village, Town, or City Level Property to place this item in-game)

Holiday Schedule

Portalarium will be closed for the holidays next week, but we’ll be checking in on the forums and customer service requests. There won’t be an Update of the Avatar next Friday, December 27th, so look for the next Update after the 1st of the year!

All of us on the Shroud of the Avatar Development Team wish you the Happiest of Holidays!

34 thoughts on “Update of the Avatar #53 – 12/20/13: Release 1 Success, More Spoony, BotA Chapter 3, Duke’s Castle, Knight Home Revisions, Hoe of Prosperity, Town & City Lots!

          1. Drocis FondorlatosDrocis Fondorlatos

            You say this as if you have authority to say it. I don’t think you have this authority and you should stop saying it as if it’s gospel.

          2. deadbeatsaintdeadbeatsaint

            Yeah, this guy definitely is not one of the developers. People that act like they are should be banned – its basically why the Star Citizen project is so detested and ignored by the real gaming community since the forum users act just like this.

            I too would like to see this option added to the add-on store. It doesn’t hurt anyone (unless you’re in total denial of reality) and would give a chance for us to donate more money for those of us who can’t afford the highest level pledges.

          3. KoldarKoldar

            Mystic is 100% correct. This was mentioned in a post in the forum by a developer: Tax Free Lots are Backer Rewards Only

            Direct from the Add-on Store:
            “Property Deeds will not be exclusive to the Add-On Store, and may also be available in the game. Property Deeds purchased through the Add-On Store will have an in game currency tax that must be paid monthly or the lot reverts to being for sale and the Property Deed is returned to the owner. Backers at Citizen level and above receive a tax exempt Property Deed. All lot deeds are transferable between players.”

    1. MyrcelloMyrcello

      No worry. We will dump all bodies in the house into the ocean. Just leave the door open to your sleeping chambers. Just place the house keys visible , do not wan´t to have to search afterwards.
      And thank you for leaving the house open. grin

  1. Sir Bradley WhiteSir Bradley White

    Don’t know if they messed up the number in the store, or the number in the update, but the amount of city lots in the store is 100, not the 50 mentioned here.

  2. Duke IronmanDuke Ironman

    One thing I would like to see added for the Duke castle is a private dock for fishing. Now that we are dealing with water lots the homes should take advantage of the water

  3. DeliverenceDeliverence

    The update to the Knights home is great to see looks so much better big thank you for this update.
    Managed to pickup that oracle head.. hope I can use this in the basement would look great to go with some type of summoning / ritual chamber.

  4. LordyLordy

    Duke Lordy uso happening about his new, humble castle. Any chance to have some grass corner close to it??? Just in case we wish to raise our “Green thumbs” :)

    Anyway great work!

  5. marktoml

    Here’s hoping the real release is different.
    Never could get connected to the server after the download of release one despite multiple re-install/re-try attempts. Nor any response on why that may be.

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